New Protein Resistant and Biodegradable Biopolymer
Background: The ability to resist nonspecific protein adsorption (protein resistance) is an indicator of a material's biological inertness or biocompatibility. Protein resistant biomaterials such as the commonly used poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) have been used in a number of applications such as prostheses, contact lenses, implanted devices, microfluidic systems, drug delivery, and substrates for assays. However PEG has two major limitations. First PEG can only be functionalized at the chain ends, and second PEG is not biodegradable. Technology: University of California, Irvine, researchers have developed a protein resistant biopolymer made from readily available starting materials such as carbohydrates or other polyhydroxyl compounds. These biopolymers are biodegradable and have many sites along the chain that may be functionalized. These biopolymers have a greater advantage than PEG since PEG may only be modified on the chain ends to introduce new functional groups to modify the biopolymer's properties. Application: Recent intense development of new biomedical applications, have created a great need to develop new biomaterials with new structures and properties. These biopolymers may be used to replace PEG in various applications. These biopolymers can be designed to be functionalizable and biodegradable while maintaining protein resistance and is thus invaluable for many new biomaterial applications.
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